BJP fetes ‘attackers’ of Babul ‘heckler’
Bengal BJP president Dilip Ghosh on Monday felicitated nine BJP and ABVP workers accused of assaulting Debanjan Ballabh, the student who allegedly heckled Union minister Babul Supriyo during protests at Jadavpur University on September 19.
The felicitation in Burdwan town drew fire from Trinamul, which accused the saffron camp of encouraging violence against dissenting voices.
Ghosh felicitated the nine one by one after they were introduced as “veer santan” (brave children), greeting them with saffron scarves and flowers.
Asked about the felicitation after the programme, Ghosh defended the decision. “Police did not take action against the youth who heckled our minister. As soon as the accused (Debanjan) was attacked, the police immediately arrested our party workers who were not involved in the incident. So they were felicitated,” said Ghosh.
Debanjan urged people to protest. “If they call the attackers veer santan, we will raise our voice against it. I will request the people of Burdwan to protest such a move,” said the student of linguistics at Calcutta’s Sanskrit College and University and member of the Left-leaning United Democratic Students’ Front.
None in the BJP clarified why the party workers had taken the law into their own hands and attacked Debanjan. “The youth (Debanjan) did not name anyone in his complaint but the police arrested our workers without any reason. They had to spend 14 days in jail, all for working with the BJP. So they were felicitated,” Sunil Gupta, the BJP district general secretary in East Burdwan.
Debanjan was manhandled in Burdwan on October 2 when he was about to board a Calcutta-bound bus along with a friend after meeting his parents in the town. The police rescued the duo and escorted them to Calcutta.
The nine BJP and ABVP workers were arrested on October 3 and spent two weeks in jail before being granted bail. “The BJP has sent a message that they back miscreants,” said Debu Tudu, Trinamul leader and deputy chief of the Burdwan Zilla Parishad.